County Buys Five New Highway Trucks for $790K

At a cost of almost $790,000, County Commissioners approved this morning the first new truck purchases in over five years.
Commissioners approved the recommendations of Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden on three single-axle and two tandem-axle trucks, all 2017 Western Star models with dump bodies. After receiving a total of 11 bids, Tilden recommended buying all trucks from Stoops Freight Liner Sterling, Fort Wayne.
The single-axle trucks, at a cost of $468,248 altogether, replace vehicles from 1978, ’91 and ’94 with as many as 400,000 miles on them. The tandem-axles, at a cost of $321,318, replace some 2000 and 2004 model-year vehicles.
Tilden observed that the county hasn’t been able to afford buying new trucks for about 5-1/2 years, instead purchasing two used vehicles in that time which were 12 to 15 years old. The new vehicles are expected to last about 20 years, he added.
Also this morning, commissioners voted to sign a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration seeking permission for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to conduct gypsy moth sprays this spring and summer. Eric Biddinger, IDNR entomology division nursery inspector and compliance officer, said the sprays will be held in May and June in Atwood and Pierceton.
He said the flyover sprays are necessary because the gypsy moth is a pesky defoliator, attacking mainly white oak but also another 300 to 600 species of plants. Each caterpillar is capable of eating 9 to 11 square feet of foliage.
The moth has been a problem further east for years, he said, and Indiana has begun trying to slow the spread, mainly along the U.S. 30 corridor.
And county attorney Chad Miner addressed this morning the charges against Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine, in response to a question from Commissioner Brad Jackson on whether there are any actions commissioners need to take. Miner said it’s a matter for the courts and that since the sheriff is an elected position and that Rovenstine, who he noted has not been convicted of anything at this time, is still acting as sheriff, there is nothing for the commissioners to do.